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CBRE: UAE property market becoming “more risk-averse”

Residents in the UAE are beginning to exercise a more risk-averse approach to housing, as they prioritise cost over location, says Matthew Green of CBRE Middle East

Matthew Green, head of research and consulting UAE  strategic advisory at CBRE Middle East.
Matthew Green, head of research and consulting UAE strategic advisory at CBRE Middle East.

Residents in the UAE are beginning to exercise a more risk-averse approach to housing, as they prioritise cost over location.

Speaking with Construction Week, Matthew Green, head of research and consulting UAE – strategic advisory at CBRE Middle East, said that trends in the country’s residential market are favouring affordable properties over premium locations.

“In Dubai, there’s an orientation towards affordability,” he elaborated. “When it comes to people moving, for example, there’s a shift from higher-quality locations to areas where they get more value.

Read: Dubai Land Department plans affordable housing review

“You can see people moving out of the [Dubai] Marina area and into Jumeirah Lake Towers or Jumeirah Village Circle, or other areas that are becoming more established as communities but still offer relative affordability to some of the more premium locations.”

Explaining the shift in priorities, Green noted that people in Dubai continue to view the emirate as an expensive place to live in. “They’re looking at value because there’s uncertainty in the wider economy and within the employment market.

“So people are just a little more risk-averse than they were a couple of years ago, including in their housing decisions as well. And this is something that we’re seeing across the board, not just in Dubai.

“There’s definitely an orientation towards affordability,” he added, but noted that despite this increasing demand for affordable projects, most of the properties being delivered in Abu Dhabi are targeted at the mid-high- to high-end market.

Read: Abu Dhabi rents to see further declines into 2017

He pointed out, however, that the situation, at least from the perspective of occupiers, is partly addressed by a softening in rent prices. “Rents are going down in areas like Reem Island, making them more affordable for others.”

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